Nine Star Laura Benanti Recovers from Surgery

News   Nine Star Laura Benanti Recovers from Surgery Laura Benanti, the Tony-nominated, erstwhile star of Broadway's Into the Woods who is currently featured in Nine, recently underwent cervical spine surgery for a herniated disc pressing against her spinal cord, Playbill On-Line has learned.

Laura Benanti as Cinderella in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods.
Laura Benanti as Cinderella in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods.

Benanti incurred the injury while playing Cinderella in the Sondheim revival of Into the Woods. The incident caused her to leave the show early last fall. At the time of the accident, information about the nature of Benanti's ailment was shrouded in mystery--a paucity of information which resulted in much speculation in the theatre community and in the internet chat rooms.

At the time, a spokesperson for the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical would only say, "The official [statement] is that she's out ill, and there's no comment about the nature of her illness or when she might return." Benanti never did return, but was replaced first by her understudy Melissa Dye and then Erin Dilly. The revival closed at the end of 2002.

According to a source, the actress' recovery was rapid, enabling her to open with Nine.

Benanti was Tony-nominated for her role in Into the Woods, her second nomination. Her other credits include Swing!, The Sound of Music and Wonderful Town with Encores!